LAHORE: Hundreds of thousands of people have left the city to celebrate Eidul Azha with dear and near ones in their hometowns and villages. Following the mass exodus that started on Monday and continued on Tuesday, the provincial capital wore a deserted look as even the busiest of thoroughfares, shops, restaurants and markets witnessed a minimal number of people.
A rush of those leaving Lahore, however, was seen at the railway station and local bus terminals, including the Badami Bagh general bus stand, the Sikandria Colony bus terminal and Yatim Khana. Lahore Railway Station was also packed with passengers till late night as most families with children and luggage preferred trains on buses for long travelling.
While a majority of people had sent their families back to hometowns over the weekend to avoid the anticipated suffering, others were seen trying hard to book seats amid the rush to reach their destinations.
Passengers, who were facing difficulties in seat reservation due to the shortage of transport, said that the public transporters were charging extra money from travellers with impunity. They alleged that transport companies’ owners had deliberately caused the shortage so they could charge their desired prices.
Amid the lack of transport, several people were seen sitting atop the roofs of buses and trains.
Those who could afford the overcharged prices were found purchasing tickets but there were many others registering their protests and complaining against this illegal action taken by the transport officials.
Rain also added to their ordeal as several passengers were seen saving themselves and their luggage from getting wet while a massive shortage of buses, coaches and vans was also observed.
It is worth mentioning that according to some estimates more than six million people leave the provincial capital twice a year on Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha. Transporters taking benefit of the situation increase the fare by double or thrice and authorities concerned give them free hand to fleece the people.
Meanwhile, all of the city’s exit points, including Shahdara, Multan Road, Saggian Pul, Shera Kot and Ferozepur Road also remained packed with passengers till late night where thousands were seen stuck in traffic gridlocks.